This Land Is Mine

I envisioned This Land Is Mine as the last scene of my potential-possible-maybe- feature film, Seder-Masochism, but it’s the first (and so far only) scene I’ve animated. As the Bible says, ”So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

This Land Is Mine from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

Who’s Killing Who? A Viewer’s Guide

Because you can’t tell the players without a pogrom!

Early Man


Early Man
This generic “cave man” represents the first human settlers in Israel/Canaan/the Levant. Whoever they were.




What did ancient Canaanites look like? I don’t know, so this is based on ancient Sumerian art.

Ancient Egyptian



Canaan was located between two huge empires. Egypt controlled it sometimes, and…




….Assyria controlled it other times.




The “Children of Israel” conquered the shit out of the region, according to bloody and violent Old Testament accounts.




Then the Baylonians destroyed their temple and took the Hebrews into exile.





Here comes Alexander the Great, conquering everything!




No sooner did Alexander conquer everything, than his generals divided it up and fought with each other.




Greek descendants of Ptolemy, another of Alexander’s competing generals, ruled Egypt dressed like Egyptian god-kings. (The famous Cleopatra of western mythology and Hollywood was a Ptolemy.)




More Greek-Macedonian legacies of Alexander.


Hebrew Priest

Hebrew Priest
This guy didn’t fight, he just ran the Second Temple re-established by Hebrews in Jerusalem after the Babylonian Exile.


Led by Judah “The Hammer” Maccabee, who fought the Seleucids, saved the Temple, and invented Channukah. Until…




….the Romans destroyed the Second Temple and absorbed the region into the Roman Empire…




….which split into Eastern and Western Empires. The eastern part was called the Byzantine Empire. I don’t know if “Romans” ever fought “Byzantines” (Eastern Romans) but this is a cartoon.





Arab Caliph
Speaking of cartoon, what did an Arab Caliph look like? This was my best guess.




After Crusaders went a-killin’ in the name of Jesus Christ, they established Crusader states, most notably the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Egyptian Mamluk



Mamluk of Egypt
Wikipedia sez, “Over time, mamluks became a powerful military caste in various Muslim societies…In places such as Egypt from the Ayyubid dynasty to the time of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, mamluks were considered to be “true lords”, with social status above freeborn Muslims.[7]” And apparently they controlled Palestine for a while.


Ottoman Turk


Ottoman Turk
Did I mention this is a cartoon? Probably no one went to battle looking like this. But big turbans, rich clothing and jewelry seemed to be in vogue among Ottoman Turkish elites, according to paintings I found on the Internet.




A gross generalization of a generic 19-century “Arab”.



The British formed alliances with Arabs, then occupied Palestine. This cartoon is an oversimplification, and uses this British caricature as a stand-in for Europeans in general.




The British occupied this guy’s land, only to leave it to a vast influx of….

European Jew/Zionist


European Jew/Zionist
Desperate and traumatized survivors of European pogroms and death camps, Jewish Zionist settlers were ready to fight to the death for a place to call home, but…




….so were the people that lived there. Various militarized resistance movements arose in response to Israel: The Palestinian Liberation Organization, Hamas, and Hezbollah.

State of Israel



Guerrilla/Freedom Fighter/TerroristState of Israel
Backed by “the West,” especially the US, they got lots of weapons and the only sanctioned nukes in the region.


Guerrilla/Freedom Fighter/Terrorist
Sometimes people fight in military uniforms, sometimes they don’t. Creeping up alongside are illicit nukes possibly from Iran or elsewhere in the region. Who’s Next?

Angel of Death




and finally…

The Angel of Death
The real hero of the Old Testament, and right now too.


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566 comments to This Land Is Mine

  • fortezza_smith

    Thanks for this–war never was the answer.

  • […] with the background song This Land is Mine, the theme song from the movie “Exodus.” Full Guide of who kills who in the video can be seen […]

  • They should have the US using the nukes destory them at the end lol

  • Abe Bird

    You’re building a nice presentation but nothing more. You’re missing the accuracy of history, since history is not only schematic drawing cartoons. For example, you put the “Palestinians” before “European Jew / Zionist” (which you falsely draw as an Orthodox Jew). From the history point of view it is an absurd as you also put all the occupiers of the Land of Israel as equal (as if you put the Indian tribes that first Americans terrorized and occupied as occupiers themselves). Of all the characters in your cartoons only the Canaanite, Israelite, (why religious one?), Hebrew Priest, Maccabee, European Jew / Zionist and the State of Israel, are building out of authentic indigenous character of the Land of Israel. They were invaders in some point in history but turn immediately to be the lords of that land, creating kingdoms and sovereign states, writing and glorifying the land and keep it cultivated. All the others, including the ‘Palestinian’ are newly historically invaders that had never see that land as theirs, never created a local new indigenous people, state or culture. The Islamic imperialism although being Longley didn’t flourish the rural areas nor the deserts. They were far parts of giant Islamic empires. The Europeans invaded and conquered North America and quite quickly created their own national state trying to collect all different individuals under one national consensus. It had never occurred with Muslims in the Land of Israel, although Muslims were the Majority and the occupied Jews in minority, for the last centuries (although in Jerusalem the Jews are the majority since 1840).

  • Finally I take issue with the idea that the Zionists settled on “someone else’s” land. If you’re talking about the West Bank and Gaza, you have a case to make but before 1967, the vast majority of the land that the Jews settled on was uninhabited and up to that point uninhabitable. They had to dry up swamps by planting eucalyptus trees and irrigate crops in the desert with sea water in order to settle the land that now makes up most of Israel proper. You wouldn’t know that from looking at Israel today because there is a lot of lush greenery, and a lot of cities and towns around but those are all man-made. Planted and built by guess who: Zionists.

  • The Europeans invaded and conquered North America and quite quickly created their own national state trying to collect all different individuals under one national consensus. It had never occurred with Muslims in the Land of Israel, although Muslims were the Majority and the occupied Jews in minority, for the last centuries (although in Jerusalem the Jews are the majority since 1840).

  • bidibadi

    I think that we got enough playing of cowboys and indians, that were in the 2nd grade:)

  • […] Paley’s new “potential-possible-maybe-feature film” project is Seder-Masochism, and she’s posted a clip called “This Land Is Mine,” which she envisions as the […]

  • Anne-Marie

    Yep Israelites conquered the land – but infighting brought them down within 300 years. Whether Zionists improved the land or not is entirely irrelevant. They still kicked people off land that didn’t belong to them and never should have. What the US & England did after WWII is reprehensible. I would like to see each and every one of you calmly step out of your home to allow another to come in and take it from you because of “divine right”. Not a single person will go quietly – it will be a unjust as the creation of Israel.

  • Tania

    Brilliant. Just brilliant. Thank you, this should be in the opening lecture of sociology, psychology, and history classes.

  • […] sure to visit Nina Paley’s blog HERE to read a little about this […]

  • Zid (Nom de Guerre)

    How are the copyright issues with the music solved in this instance?

    Very interested to know if Nina Paley could share some of the problems other artists may face when trying similar projects.

    Thank you so much Nina for your invaluable contribution to making this world a better place for all!

    Al the best from Norway!
    Zid / “True North” (Nom de Guerre)

  • Paul Thomas

    Thank you Nina Paley. Exceptionally well done. Your animation concisely illustrates in 03:32 that Palestine has been one of the most disputed, violent, marched over, invaded, occupied, conquered and ruled pieces of real estate on the globe, and that no single ethnic group, tribe, clan, cult, heritage, race or religion has an original or exclusive claim to the territory of Palestine.

    Oh, and I also liked your costumes and uniforms.

  • Paul Thomas

    “This Land is Mine” should be attached to every DVD of the 1960 Hollywood movie extravaganza “Exodus.”

  • HalfPastNein

    Actually,the Arabian People that understand themselves today and since more than a century are there since the first conquest trough the Caliphate and therefore the only indigenous people left. And after the Crusaders were out of the middle east the land called Palestine had long times of peace,only shortly interrupted by the Ottoman takeover,which went surprisingly fast trough all Muslim Lands. This peace was ended with the colonization. The European Jews/Zionist that was given the land after,were for the people living there also nothing more than oppressors,like the British were. Some even organized terrorist groups like the Stern Gang and many other,which only goal was to massacre the there living people. Some of them even were later in the government of Israel.
    But also I see many mistakes people wrote in other comments,like:
    “The Europeans invaded and conquered North America and quite quickly created their own national state trying to collect all different individuals under one national consensus. It had never occurred with Muslims in the Land of Israel, although Muslims were the Majority and the occupied Jews in minority, for the last centuries”
    The Europeans that invaded America never tried to have a state with diversity,it just happened and they SLOWLY accepted it. (See for example how slowly black people got their rights) Under Islamic Rule it was different. Islamic Rule says to accept everyone mentionless of their race,origin or whatever. Religious Groups were protected and under ottoman rule,for example,jews and christians had the right to live in little communities and that BY THEIR OWN RULES. Islamic empires were since ever nations of many people (from Morocco to irak and later to todays pakistan) and had to get them all together.
    Also: there is no thing as “Islamic Imperialism” the humiliating of other nations as it happens in imperialism is mentioned in several parts of the Quran as sinful.

  • Hi Nina, check out czech subtitles at:

    feel free to push them to vimeo and ;)

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